I’ve baked 216 cookies so far this month. The recipes and ingredients are lined up for another 276 by the end of this week. A few nights ago, my darling husband had the Unmitigated Confidence, the Unabashed Audacity, to ask, “Hey, you know these cookies? [flashes a photo of peanut butter blossoms on his phone] Could you make a batch for Christmas? I just really like them.”
I mean. Y’all. I’ve already prepared “Santa’s Whiskers,” and peppermint-cocoa cookies, peppermint meringues, and up next are M&M cookies, chocolate-covered cherry cookies, gingerbread, and another batch of meringues. AND HE ASKS FOR MORE? Just because he likes them?!
Dear reader, I told him I would bake them, if he picks up the bag of Hershey’s Kisses from the store.
The evening of the cookie conversation, I tweeted: “I need to start asking for things I want, just because I like them, with that level of boldness.” (I was really only thinking about asking Chris. For stuff and nonsense. But then…)
The next morning, my Bible Reading Challenge took me to Luke 11 and I saw this:
“Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your SHAMELESS AUDACITY he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!””Luke 11:5-13 (NIV) emphasis mine
It reminded me of how I’d felt when Chris asked for cookies. Even though I am already busy (like the man in the parable who’s already resting with his family), something about the sheer chutzpah of the request made me acquiesce.
Look at that passage again.
Asking for More
Do you see what I see? Down there after Jesus says that even human fathers give good things to their kids? He says that God the Father “much more” gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.
I hadn’t noticed that part before. I had recklessly applied the notion of “ask/seek/knock” to persistent prayer about nearly anything. But I think I was missing an important point. Jesus’ concluding sentence tells us that our shameless audacity should be used to ask for the Holy Spirit’s presence and working in our lives.
And that puts me in mind of Paul’s writing to the church at Corinth. Go read all of chapters 12-14. He leads off this section of his letter with, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed” (12:1) and goes on to tell them at least three times to “earnestly desire” the gifts. In one spot he says “desire the higher gifts” (12:31), in another “especially that you may prophesy” (14:1), and concludes this way: “So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But all things should be done decently and in order” (14:39-40).
So, friends, take this thought with you: are you asking God, with the Unmitigated Confidence, the Unabashed Boldness, the Shameless Audacity of a man who loves peanut butter blossoms… to give you the powerful workings of the Holy Spirit, especially the higher gifts?
Be bold. God loves you even more than a wife with forty-eleven dozen cookies to bake, and He gives more graciously and abundantly, too.